The Rotary Club of Goodyear PebbleCreek is gearing up for it’s annual community “Let’s Bag Hunger” Food Drive benefiting Agua Fria Food & Clothing Bank and All Faith Community Services.
Rotarians throughout Arizona have declared April 17 to 24 as “Rotary Week of Service” and invite residents in their respective communities to join them as they conduct community service projects.
“We have set a goal of collecting 32,000 pounds of non-perishable food, which equals 16 tons, during the Week of Service,” club President Joan Smith said. “To accomplish this goal, the Goodyear PebbleCreek Rotary Club is inviting the whole community to become involved.”
The summer months are a challenge when donations take a sharp downturn, Ms. Smith said, inviting residents to check their pantries or pick up some extra cans each time they go grocery shopping.
Donations can drop off canned food donations at any city of Goodyear office, including the Police Department or City Hall, and at Robson Reserve on PebbleCreek Parkway.
Students from Litchfield and Avondale elementary school districts and Agua Fria Union High School District are participating in the food drive.
“Learning the importance of community service and helping others spread throughout our curriculum on a daily basis” said Dr. Betsy Hargrove. AESD superintendent. “Our students are excited to get the opportunity to join Rotary on this project. Canyon View Interact Club will be working to surpass the 1,300 pounds they collected last year.”
Also assisting Rotary with collections in PebbleCreek will be members of Kare Bears, Ms. Smith said, noting the two clubs collected 3,500 pounds of canned food last year.
“We are asking faith groups, youth groups, community organizations, businesses and others to join in the spirit of service,” she said.
“Arizona ranks fifth in the U.S. for the highest food insecurity rates. Just over 1 million people in Arizona are struggling with hunger, which translates to 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 7 seniors. These are our friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.”
This year has been especially challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
Agua Fria Food & Clothing Bank serves approximately 50,000 individuals experiencing hunger annually in the Southwest Valley, and All Faith Community Services in Buckeye serves approximately 2,000 individuals a month.
“Unfortunately, the communities served are some of the poorest, not only in the state, but in the country,” Ms. Smith said.
Each year, the Rotary Club of Goodyear PebbleCreek engages community leaders, non-profit charities, community organizations and churches to determine local area needs, then through fund-raising efforts and the volunteer energy of club members, it works to improve the quality of local lives, she said.
For more information or to volunteer to help, call club Community Service Chair Henry Raczkiewicz at 630-945-8812, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club meets from 7 to 8 a.m. Wednesdays via Zoom. Guests and snowbird visitors affiliated with other Rotary Clubs are welcome to join. To receive the Zoom invite, email Ms. Smith at email@example.com or call (503) 348-9468.